The University of Tennessee, Knoxville



Census money income is defined as income received on a regular basis (exclusive of certain money receipts such as capital gains) before payments for personal income taxes, social security, union dues, medicare deductions, etc. Therefore, money income does not reflect the fact that some families receive part of their income in the form of noncash benefits, such as food stamps, health benefits, subsidized housing, and goods produced and consumed on the farm. In addition, money income does not reflect the fact that noncash benefits are also received by some nonfarm residents which may take the form of the use of business transportation and facilities, full or partial payments by business for retirement programs, medical and educational expenses, etc.

The Census Bureau collects income data from several surveys. Depending on your needs, one survey may be more suitable than another. The following is a list of Census Bureau surveys. Each of these surveys differs from the others in some ways, such as the length and detail of its questionnaire, the number of households included (sample size), and the methodology used to collect and process the data. As a result of this multiplicity of sources, it is important to understand that different surveys and methods, which are designed to meet different needs, also produce different results. The guide below is provided to assist data users in selecting the data source most appropriate for their application.